Kelsey Wakefield joined Lea Yanitsas in the goals at her maiden Olympics in Rio as a member of the Australian Women’s Water Polo Team.
The Aussies kicked started their Rio campaign with a strong, dominant 14-4 win over Russia. Their second pool match proved to be more of a challenge with the green and gold side narrowly going down to Italy 7-8 despite the scores being tied until the final seconds.
The Aussies then powered home to take a decisive 10-3 win over hosts Brazil in the final pool game, setting up a quarter final clash against Hungary. In a physical, tense and ultimately heartbreaking encounter the Australians lost in a penalty shootout after scores were level, 8-8, after four quarters, ending their 2016 Olympic campaign.
Wakefield started playing water polo at 12 years-old to copy her older sisters and give them someone to practice against. Throughout high school she excelled in water polo and competed at a national level in high jump. After school she chose to follow her passion for water polo as she loved the team aspect.
The goalkeeper, known for her ability to anticipate the shot in penalty shootouts, made her Australian international debut at the 2009 Canada Cup.
Wakefield has won five National League Water Polo Titles with her Queensland team the Brisbane Barracudas. She helped Australia to win bronze at the 2011 FINA World Junior Championships in Italy and silver at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Spain.
She has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science from Griffith University on the Gold Coast, and has a flair for baking, often making birthday cakes for her teammates.